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Sat Dec 29, 2018, 04:51 PM

Jesus doesn't believe in walls

Sharing here for the benefit of those who must contend with Trumpangelicals...

A friend of mine recently said, "My problem with those who take the Bible literally is that they don't take the Bible literally."

I know many who hold to a six-day creation, a global flood, a talking donkey and yet dismiss immediately what the Bible says about the treatment of immigrants.

In the literature arguing for a wall, I have not heard a single verse from the Bible used by my Evangelical kin in support — and there is a clear reason why: Displaced people are the heroes of the Bible; displaced people are the authors of the Bible. Abram was pushed into Egypt during a great famine. Jacob escaped from his brother in Haran, David twice fled and was cared for in foreign lands, and Joseph moved his family in a caravan to Egypt to avoid starvation. The heroes of the Bible are routinely those who embrace immigrants with mercy: Naomi adopted Ruth, Jethro embraced Moses, and the Widow of Zaraphath created a home for Elijah in the land of the Philistines' when he hid from Ahab...

https://www.greeleytribune.com/news/jeff-cook-jesus-doesnt-believe-in-walls/
(entire article text is in the comment section)

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Reply Jesus doesn't believe in walls (Original post)
madamesilverspurs Dec 2018 OP
madamesilverspurs Dec 2018 #1
guillaumeb Dec 2018 #2
Poiuyt Dec 2018 #3
blitzen Dec 2018 #4
Stargleamer Dec 2018 #5

Response to madamesilverspurs (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 04:56 PM

1. full text

A friend of mine recently said, "My problem with those who take the Bible literally is that they don't take the Bible literally."

I know many who hold to a six-day creation, a global flood, a talking donkey and yet dismiss immediately what the Bible says about the treatment of immigrants.

In the literature arguing for a wall, I have not heard a single verse from the Bible used by my Evangelical kin in support — and there is a clear reason why: Displaced people are the heroes of the Bible; displaced people are the authors of the Bible. Abram was pushed into Egypt during a great famine. Jacob escaped from his brother in Haran, David twice fled and was cared for in foreign lands, and Joseph moved his family in a caravan to Egypt to avoid starvation. The heroes of the Bible are routinely those who embrace immigrants with mercy: Naomi adopted Ruth, Jethro embraced Moses, and the Widow of Zaraphath created a home for Elijah in the land of the Philistines' when he hid from Ahab.

The commands of the Bible build on these stories, aggressively advocating for needy immigrants. Twice the Bible says, "The alien who resides with you shall be to you as a citizen; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt:  I am the Lord your God" (Lev 19, 24). In fact, the Lord told Jeremiah that God's very presence was dependent on how foreigners were treated, saying, "I will dwell with you in this place … if you do not oppress the alien."

But who paid for such an expense? Interestingly enough, taxes were first collected in the Bible to provide for displaced people (Deut 14.29). That is, God commanded taxes be used, not to keep them out, but for the benefit of foreigners in the land. In fact, the Lord instructed both Joshua and Moses to create six "cities of refuge" for even the worst kinds of immigrants (Num 35, Josh 20). We all know that five billion dollars would go much further in making the world better if it was spent, not on a wall, but on infrastructure that would support and direct the needy at the U.S. borders. That is the logic of the Bible.

The moral rejection of walls is more pronounced in the New Testament. Jesus mentioned two walls. The first is built by a wealthy man to keep out the poor, and here's an interesting fact — the rich wall builder in Luke 16 is the only person the Bible shows going to hell when he dies. From the fire, the rich man complains that his brothers and family didn't know of this gastly future, but he is told, "They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen!" In other words, they have all the verses from the Old Testament I listed above to show them God's heart.

The second wall Jesus mentioned is used by the tenants of a vineyard to hoard what God meant for all, and again the judgment on these tenants is destruction (Mark 12). But the most interesting reference to "walls" is found in Ephesians in which Paul, when speaking of the transformative power of the cross said, "Christ himself is our peace, who has made [all people] one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility in his flesh … His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile [us all] to God through the cross, by which he put to death all our hostility" (Ephesians 2).

The logic of Paul is clear: Every wall that separates human beings is opposed by the cross of Christ. Walls that divide God's children are repugnant, and Jesus' cross is (among so much else) a divine response to such walls. The very good for which Jesus was crucified, according to this passage, was to obliterate all that stands between the children of God and to make them into one new humanity.

Now, many of you know America's immigration policy just killed another elementary schooler. Felipe Gomez Alonzo is the second child this month to die on the border in U.S. custody. For those who love the Bible, it is time to reject our ostracism and abuse of displaced people. It is time to declare that family separation is disgusting to the heart of Christ. It is time to recommit to the word of God on this matter without fear.

Common sense immigration reform that treats those who have come to our borders with dignity and respect is the new target. America will require leaders of good will and wisdom to get us there. But for now, we should oppose a $5 billion wall on the southern border of the United States. Pastors especially should do so with our microphones knowing we speak with the authority of scripture and are defending many with whom we will share eternity.

God never stops believing that God's people can become who God called them to be: a nation of priests, the light of the world, the salt of the earth. In this New Year, let's put to death our hostility.  At cost to ourselves, let us help those who look like Moses, David, Jacob and Jesus himself—those seeking refuge in a foreign land. In so doing, we may become the heroes in God's eyes.

~Jeff Cook serves as a pastor of Atlas Church in Greeley, Colorado.

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 07:03 PM

2. Recommended.

What you do to the least of these....

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 07:06 PM

3. Conservatives don't believe in Jesus' teachings

They only listen to their pig-god, Trump

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 07:12 PM

4. Not to mention that "Sodomy" in Genesis means Xenophobia...

Any reasonable reading of the story of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah as recounted in Genesis must conclude that their essential sin is exclusion and mistreatment of foreigners (their lack of hospitality to non-citizens).

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Response to madamesilverspurs (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2018, 07:52 PM

5. Conservatives counter Matthew 25 which says

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,"

with

2 Chronicles 14 : 7 : "So he said to the people of Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, with doors and bars. The land is still ours because we have sought the LORD our God. We have sought Him and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered" I have seen them do this on Twitter.

One would think the verse from Matthew would take precedence, as it is Jesus's words. But the wall itself takes precedence.

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